Other people's business, Friday 27 April

Kickstarter and Murdoch

1. AstraZeneca will need more than the placebo effect to placate investors (Telegraph)

"AstraZeneca investors have been popping the Seroquel for a while now. But each time they looked at the share price, those psychotic feelings came wooshing back", writes Alistair Osborne.

2. Just another businessman playing the power game (Financial Times)

Philip Delves Broughton defends Rupert Murdoch's actions as standard for a businessman in his position.

3. Kickstarter of the day, Flint-and-Tinder edition (Reuters)

Felix Salmon points out the growing awkwardness of Kickstarter being used to provide what is essentially start-up funding.

4. All your Tumblr are belong to Them (Reuters)

Paul Smalera writes on the usefulness of social media to firms which specialise in "big data".

5. Executive excess? You ain’t seen nothing yet (Times)

Ian King writes that the saga of Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy "inspires little faith, a decade on from Enron and WorldCom, that US regulators are doing any better at keeping tabs on corporate executives."

Campaigners outside the Leveson inquiry protest Rupert Murdoch's influence over politicians. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Getty
Show Hide image

Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

0800 7318496